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Confused Between SBI PO AND IBPS PO: Here is What to Opt For in 2018

Confused Between SBI PO AND IBPS PO: Here is What to Opt For in 2018

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IBPS PO (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) and SBI PO are two of the most awaited national level examinations. While both the exams are conducted to shortlist candidates for the post of Probationary Officer, candidates often choose one over the other.

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Click Here for Detailed Information on SBI PO 2018

In case of SBI PO, State Bank of India is the largest commercial bank of India. Though the number of vacancies in SBI are lesser than those of IBPS PO, yet the number of applicants is huge.

In 2017, nearly 25 lakh candidates applied for SBI PO whereas close to 30 lakh candidates applied for IBPS PO 2017. Both these exams differ on various levels. If you are an aspirant, confused between SBI PO and IBPS PO and cannot decide which one to opt for, below we have exactly what can help you solve your problem.

 Difference between IBPS PO and SBI PO in terms of Exam pattern:

Both SBI PO and IBPS PO have a medium to high level of difficulty. The paper is further divided into Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability, English, General Knowledge etc. These sections are common for both the exams. However, differ in various aspects.

The Reasoning Ability section of SBI PO is relatively tougher than that of IBPS PO.

On the other hand, Quantitative Ability section is more inclined towards arithmetic in IBPS PO, while SBI PO exam has more inclination towards Data Analysis and interpretation (Bar graphs, pie charts, tables etc.) which is solved using applications of Arithmetic principles of ratios, averages, percentages etc.

IBPS PO has two different sections for general knowledge and computer awareness whereas both these sections are clubbed into one in SBI PO exam.

Another point of difference between the two exams is the Descriptive Test. SBI PO exam has Descriptive test of 1 hour duration and of a total of 50 marks wherein the candidate is assessed on the basis of his language and writing skills. However, IBPS PO Mains exam has 2 descriptive questions ( a letter and an essay) to be written in 30 minutes.

The last stage of evaluation is group discussion and personal interview in SBI PO. For IBPS PO, only personal interview is conducted.

Difference in the salaries offered after selection through IBPS PO and SBI PO: 

Salary Structure

IBPS PO Candidate

SBI PO Candidate

Basic Pay

INR 23700/-

INR 27620/- (4 initial increments applicable)

Annual Increment

INR 980/- for 7 years

INR 980/- for 7 years

Dearness Allowance

39.80% of the basic pay (revised quarterly)

46.9% of the basic pay (revised quarterly)


At 4%, 3% or 0%

At 4%, 3% or 0%

Special Allowance

7.75% of basic pay

7.75% of basic pay


9%, 8% or 7% (depends on the place of posting)

Depends on the place of posting

Total Salary

INR 37,360/- to INR 38,000/-

INR 45000/- ( depends on HRA)

 Thus, a candidate selected for the post of Probationary Officer through SBI PO earns slightly more than the one selected via IBPS PO.

While both IBPS PO as well as SBI PO are offered good perks and facilities by their respective banks, there are a few differences in the same as well. Both of them are provided leased rental accommodation while travelling anywhere across the country along with the provision of staying at the bank guest houses as well. The POs are also offered medical facilities, let alone the traveling benefits. The SBI employee gets 100% medical facilities along with 75% medical facilities of his immediate family members whereas IBPS PO is paid INR 8000/- annually as the medical facility. SBI PO gets 4 extra increments initially. Thus his gross salary will be about INR 6000/- higher.

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Further, bank employees get loans at very reasonable rates like the housing loan, car loan or any other kind of loan that the employee is seeking. Employees have a provision of working in a different country wherever the branch of the bank is situated. It entirely depends on the employee if he/ she wants to work in a different nation or not.

 Let’s analyze the career charts of both SBI PO and IBPS PO:

Management Grades


Monthly Salary Structure (INR)

Junior Management Grade- Scale 1

Probationary officer/ Assistant Manager


Middle Management Grade- Scale 2



Middle Management Grade- Scale 3

Senior Manager


Senior Management Grade- Scale 4

Chief Manager


Senior Management Grade – Scale 5

Assistant General Manager


Top Management Grade- Scale 6

Deputy General Manager


Top Management Grade- Scale 7

General Manager


Executive Director (ED)


1.5+ lac (approx)

Chairman (CMD)


2+ lac (approx)


The overall cutoff of both the exams is at par with each other. The cutoff for the Preliminary exam of IBPS PO as well as SBI PO ranges between 40-55 marks. On the difficulty parameter, SBI PO is relatively difficult owing to the descriptive test and the group discussion round which is a task in itself.

Working in a nationalized public sector bank (no nationalization in case of SBI) always confers a bright future of the candidate. SBI as well as IBPS provides great opportunities to uphill the career progress graph of an individual. Both the organizations offer competitive roles to the candidate. The work environment is also almost similar in all the banks.

Since SBI is the biggest and most seasoned public sector bank in the country, it has more branches across the nation and hence more client dealing. Due to this, the work pressure is a little above normal in SBI.

With the same designation, working profile, incentives and salary (only 4 extra initial increments in the case of SBI PO) that the candidate gets, giving a shot at both the exams is a good idea. However, if you are to choose one, go for SBI PO if your preparation is strong, if you don’t want to face tough competition, and increase your chances of landing up with a decent banking job in the government sector, go for IBPS PO. Cracking both the exams is not extremely hard if the aspirant studies smartly and effectively. Hard work integrated with smart work can yield great results.


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